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Newsom slams Target CEO for betraying LGBTQ community by removing trans-themed products.

California Governor Accuses Target CEO of Betraying LGBTQ+ Community

Target, the retail giant, has come under fire for pulling some gay- and trans-themed merchandise from its shelves after facing customer backlash. The company had aggressively marketed items including transgender swimsuits in conjunction with Pride month, but customers reacted with disgust, prompting the chain to first move Pride month displays to less prominent areas of some stores and then to pull some of the controversial merchandise altogether.

California Governor Gavin Newsom accused Target CEO Brian Cornell of “selling out the LGBTQ+ community to extremists” and called it a “real profile in courage.” He added, “This isn’t just a couple stores in the South. There is a systematic attack on the gay community happening across the country. Wake up America. This doesn’t stop here. You’re black? You’re Asian? You’re Jewish? You’re a woman? You’re next.”

Target, which offers over 2,000 products as part of its Pride Collection, told Reuters on Tuesday that it was yanking some LGBTQ merchandise. According to the outlet, merchandise no longer available includes a sweater that read “cure transphobia not trans people” and a “too queer for here” tote bag.

“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target stated, adding, “Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

So far, only products with the LGBTQ brand Abprallen, a London-based designer of products that sometimes mixes imagery and messages about gender with the macabre, have been removed.

Target has come under fire after marketing other products including “tuck-friendly” and “extra crotch coverage” female swimsuits, “gender fluid” mugs, “queer all year” calendars, and books for children as young as 2 years old that celebrate LGBTQ perspectives. The swimsuits were only marketed and sold to adults, according to a spokesperson for the company.

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